Sensory Activities

Sensory play is a key part of your child’s development. It builds fine motor skills, helps children develop a sense of themselves and aids memory function. Here are Nanny Anita’s best crafts and activities to support sensory play.

How to dye popcorn kernels

How To Dye Popcorn Kernels

In all the years that I have been making sensory trays I have never actually used popcorn kernels.  I think the thought of dying More

diy contrast cards for babies

DIY Contrast Cards For Babies

Babies are born with limited vision. They can see around 8-10inches, which is roughly the distance of a person’s face from theirs when they More

Chinese lion sensory tray

Chinese Lion Dog Sensory Tray

During the lock down at the beginning of 2021 I made a Lunar New Year sensory tray.  This year I have expanded on that More

how to make slime

How to Make Slime

 For the best part of this year I have been trying to find the perfect slime recipe. A large number of them require borax More

DIY ribbon pull toy

DIY Ribbon Pull Toy for Babies

I do love making DIY toys from things that I have lying around at work. One item that we have many of is formula More

butterfly life cycle sensory tray

Butterfly Life Cycle Sensory Tray

BB’s nursery was meant to be looking at butterflies during the summer term. His teachers sent through videos of the caterpillars they had and More

Lunar New Year Sensory Tray

Lunar New Year Sensory Tray

I have always liked the Lunar New Year; I think having spent my earliest years living in South Korea obviously had some sort of More

water bead sensory bottle

Water Bead Sensory Bottle

We love playing with water beads here. They are just so relaxing. I can’t wait to use them with BB, but because of the More

naturally dyed play dough

Naturally Dyed Play Dough

We love to make play dough; I love to play with it while it is still warm. Over the years we’ve made lots of More

Nanny Anita's Red Velvet Inspired Play Dough

Red Velvet Party Cake Inspired Play Dough

In honour of EC’s birthday, I made a set of red velvet cake play dough. For the colouring of this batch I used powdered More

flower water sensory tray

Flower Water Sensory Tray

A few weeks ago, I did a flower vase sensory tray with YC and BB.  The flowers lasted a long time, about 2 weeks.  More

colourful soap foam sensory tray

Colourful Soap Foam Sensory Tray

We recently had people over doing some content work on the Baba West products, so we had a few toddlers around at the house.  More

flower vase sensory tray

Flower Vase Sensory Tray

I saw this on Instagram a few weeks ago and thought it looked quite sweet, maybe slightly young for my charges, but definitely one More

Inside Out Stress Balls

Inside Out Stress Balls

It has been a really long time since we made stress balls. I think I first made some with EC and YC when they More

colour monster sensory tray

The Colour Monster Sensory Tray

One of BB’s favourite books is “The Colour Monster.”  It is a brilliant book about a monster who is feeling all mixed up because More

dinosaur dig sensory tray

Dinosaur Dig Sensory Tray

This dinosaur dig sensory tray has been a great way to help pass the time during lock down.  Not only has BB enjoyed finding More

magnetic sensory bottle

Magnetic Sensory Bottle

I’ve wanted to make a magnetic sensory bottle for a while, they just look so cool. We have had magnetic sensory tray before, so More

sea creatures sensory tray

Sea Creatures Sensory Tray

I have been waiting to do a water themed sensory tray all summer. Unfortunately BB had an accident that meant that we couldn’t get More

construction sensory tray

Construction Sensory Tray

Summer is a great time to be playing with water and running around outside. Unfortunately for us, water play and running around is off More

farmyard sensory tray

Farmyard Sensory Tray

The weather has been pretty shocking as of late. Today I feel that we have had 4 seasons in a day; we started with More

How To Make Silky Soft Playdough

We have made this playdough before but it was such a long time ago that we thought that we would give it another go. More

calming beaded strings

Calming Beaded Strings for Anxious Children

These calming beaded strings aren’t my idea in any way. I was asked to make them by Leo after Dr Maryhan Baker talked about More

winter animal sensory tray

Winter Animal Sensory Tray

A few years a go I made a cloud dough sensory tray. Well, it is time to get it out again, this time it’s More

exploring magnets sensory tray

Exploring Magnets: A Sensory Tray

This exploring magnets sensory tray was inspired by BB when he was playing with a train set. He had discovered that a magnetic pen More

Baking Soda Shapes and Vinegar Science and Sensory Play

If you were to google baking soda and vinegar the majority of your search would be filled with volcanoes.  Which is one of my More

How to Make Your Own Floam

I actually did this activity round at somebody else’s house! I don’t normally do that, but YC really wanted to do it with one More

frozen inspired play dough invitation to play

Frozen Inspired Play Dough Invitation to Play

The new Frozen 2 movie comes out this Friday! In honour of its release we have been playing with this Frozen inspired play dough More

Exploring Magnetism with a Magnetic Box

This magnetic sensory box is about using magnets and exploring what is magnetic and what isn’t.  This activity is aimed at children from about More

exploring light treasure basket

Exploring Light Treasure Basket

We do love getting the light box out every now and then. BB was asking for it just the other week. This time I More

chickpea sensory counting tray

Chickpea Sensory Counting Tray

Over the last couple of weeks BB has suddenly started counting. He tries hard to count items correctly, sometimes he will do it perfectly, More

oil and water play

Oil and Water Play Activity

There are times when I need a quick activity that I can give to BB to keep him entertained while I either finish up More

How to Make Cloud Dough

How to Make Cloud Dough

Thursday afternoon is one of my favourite times of the week; it is when I pick up my youngest charge from nursery and we have More

Make Your Own Kool-Aid Play Dough

I am always on the look out for new play dough recipes, the last batch I made was very salty and went slimy very More

pipette activity for toddlers

Pipette Activity for Toddlers

A couple of weeks ago I posted a finger gym activity for BB, it is still one of his favourite activities to do. He More

zen garden

Zen Garden to Help Children Calm Down

EC often finds falling asleep difficult. He lies there, sometimes for hours, trying to drift off. Which, obviously, gets very frustrating for him. We More

exploring patterns with mirrors

Exploring Patterns With Mirrors Activity

When I was based in London I would often take my charges to the Science Museum. One of our favourite places to explore was More

hidden letter sensory tray

Hidden Letter Sensory Tray

We haven’t been actively teaching BB his phonics, but about once a week since his birth I’ve put a You Tube video of the More

finger gym

Fine Motor Skills Finger Gym Activity

It is really important for little ones to develop their fine motor skills. They need them to do things like doing buttons up and More

Kinetic sand sensory tray

Kinetic Sand Sensory Tray

I done quite a few sensory trays with BB using rice, but I wanted to see how he would do with sand. He seems More

Recommended Baby Sensory Toys for Development and Learning

We have chosen a selection of fantastic toys to help your baby develop and learn. Sensory toys are designed to stimulate play and develop key skills.

Nanny Anita's Treasure Box

Make a Treasure Basket Out of Things at Home for Your Baby by Nanny Anita

While training at Norland I had to make my own treasure basket for part of my creative option classes. I made my basket 7 More

Sensory Light Box to Make With The Kids This Weekend

A sensory light box is simply a transparent box with some fairy lights inside (the best ones are those that are battery operated as More

mickey mouse sensory tray

Mickey Mouse Sensory Tray

As I am sure you must have heard, Mickey Mouse just had his 90th birthday! Pretty remarkable to think about. I’ve been quite busy More

marble run with tapioca pearls

Marble Run with Tapioca Pearls

I had planned to do this marble run with tapioca pearls during the summer. It was all thought out; I was going to set More

Nanny Anita's Sensory Rice Play

Nanny Anita’s Sensory Play with Coloured Rice

This is a very simple activity, but leads to hours of fun for the whole family. My charges really enjoyed just playing around with More

water bead sensory activity

Nanny Anita’s Water Bead Sensory Activity

While trawling through Pinterest I came across pictures of children playing with water beads. It looked so intriguing that I just had to give More

salt structure sensory tray

Salt Structure Sensory Tray

Last week we made some painted salt structures. I left a couple of them on the window sill of the playroom to dry out More

Soap and water play

Soap and Water Play for Children

Last week I set up an ice play station for BB which he loved. This week I set up a soap and water play More

Ice play for toddlers

Ice Play for Toddlers

This ice play for toddlers doesn’t really need a massive piece written on it, it is very self explanatory. It is probably one of More

Light Box Activity – Glass Pebble Mandalas

I used to get the light box out quite a lot of YC when she was younger. I would often put it out in More

shaving foam and mirror sensory activity

Shaving Foam and Mirror Sensory Activity

BB and I have recently taken a break in our sensory play. The weather has been so lovely that we have been spending our More

colour changing slime

Colour Changing Slime

The slime craze is still going strong and I know quite a few parents and nannies who are totally over it. EC and YC More

Nanny Anita’s Calming Bottles

Recently there have been posts all over facebook about these bottles

Why Sensory Play Is So Important & How To Encourage It

Sensory play forms the building blocks of physical and mental development in the early months. Here’s how to encourage it.

jelly sensory play

Jelly Sensory Play

As you might have seen I have been doing rather a lot of sensory activities with BB over the last few months. Our newest More

DIY sensory board

DIY Sensory Board for Babies and Toddlers

The majority of BB’s toys and activities that I do with him are sensory based ones. His mind is like a little sponge, learning More

Nanny Anita's Fun with Motor Skills

Having Fun with Fine Motor Skills by Nanny Anita

Threading activities is one the easiest ways to help develop fine motor skills in young children. It takes very little preparation and is an More

Mardi Gras sensory box

Mardi Gras Sensory Box For Babies and Toddlers

BB and I have been doing quite a few Sensory activities over the past few weeks. Most of them have been sensory bottles or More

hama bead sensory bottle

Hama Bead Sensory Bottle for Babies and Toddlers

BB is now almost a year old and tries to get into everything. He is pulling himself up on all the furniture which does More

taste safe snow dough sensory play

Taste Safe Snow Dough Sensory Play

This week’s activity is taste safe snow dough sensory play. BB is only 10months and puts a lot of things in his mouth. This More

Why Food Play Should Be A Key Part Of Your Weaning Routine

Food play can make parents feel anxious, but what if we told you food play is a key part of your baby’s development? Here are some top tips to encourage it.

Oil and Water Sensory Bottles for Babies

Make sure that you follow my sensory board on Pinterest for more ideas and don’t forget to save the pin for later. You often More

homemade peek-a-boo toy for babies

Homemade Peek-a-Boo Toy for Babies

This peek-a-boo toy is almost guaranteed to stop any tears and bring out a smile.

Sensory Tubes for babies

Sensory Tubes for Babies

I can’t believe that my youngest charge is now 4 months! The time has literally flown by. I have previously made BB some sensory More

balloon play for babies

Balloon Play for Newborns

Make sure you follow my baby activities board on Pinterest for more ideas, and don’t forget to save the pin for later. “How can More

water bead stress ball

Water Bead Stress Ball

Make sure that you follow my sensory board on Pinterest for more ideas, and don’t forget to save the pin for later. We’ve made More

Sensory Sound Bottles for Babies

Make sure you follow my sensory board on Pinterest for more ideas and don’t forget to save the pin for later. If you search More